According to cyberbullying. org, cyber bullying can be defined as the harassment, humiliation, torment, embarrassment a child, preteen, or teen faces from another child, preteen, or teen. The perpetrator uses the Internet, interchangeable technologies, or even their cellular phones to carry out the illegal act. Those who are faced with such an issue should reach out and make their voices heard. Bullying by any means, is undoubtedly wrong and painful for those who are victimized by it the effects cyber bullying can have on a child or teen can be utterly dangerous or in some extreme cases, deadly.
Quite recently, in the news, was a story about Rutgers University student, Tyler Clementi, committing suicide allegedly due to two students streaming a video of him and another male being intimate. The two students who live streamed and recorded Clementi were charged with two counts each of invasion of privacy. It is reported that 9 out of 10 gay children are harassed or bullied and are four times more likely to commit suicide than heterosexual children. In my high school, a dear friend of mine felled prey to cyber bullying.
A group of classmates discovered a video online of a girl, who looked somewhat similar to my friend, in a sexual act. These classmates then went around the entire school, showed everyone the video, and attempted to convince students that the girl recorded was in fact my friend. However, the girl in the video and my friend had significant differences about them that made it clear to me that these bullies were simply targeting her based on their personal vendetta against her.
As a result, unfortunately, my friend started missing many school days and later I discovered she was cutting not only her arms but her legs as well. Any type of bullying can lead to emotional distress, lack of self confidence, and thoughts of suicide; these effects could last a lifetime. According to bullyingstatistics. org and statistics from the I-safe foundation, over half of adolescents and teens have been bullied online, and about the same number have engaged in cyber bullying.
Countless amount of teens are unaware of the fact that the many things they post online, whether it be good or bad, can eventually come back and haunt them in the future, especially when applying for a job or college. What can truly be done about cyber bullying? Sadly, most incidents of cyber bullying go unreported; possibly because a great number of people don’t find the issue that big of a deal. In my opinion, cyber bullying can be averted by educating students on the matter, not only in schools but at home as well. Schools should set up programs and seminars educating students about bullying and its effects.
The College of Mount Saint Vincent has taken the initiative of creating the counseling center where students can walk in and discuss any issues that their having with counselors who are more than willing to listen and offer their support. Parents should monitor their children and their actions. They should be conscious of who their children are talking to and who their friends are. For many like my friend and Tyler Clementi, cyber bullying has already taken a dramatic toll on their lives, but if more students come forth and speak on their experiences on the issue it is without a question that this horrific trend can end.